I use to be extremely afraid of death, I mean even the mention of the word and I would go ballistic. Then January 2008 my sister that raised me died, well I’m jumping ahead of the story, so I will start at the beginning.
I didn’t know Mary, my next to the eldest sister was sick until my sister Lillian called me and told me that she had cancer, and the Doctor was calling in the family. She said every family member were taking turns caring for her as she refused to spend her last days in the hospital. I immediately started making arrangements to move to North Carolina where she was living to do my part.
I stayed with Mary all through the week so I had first hand experience on death, spiritual strength, and losing my fear of death. I owe it all to Mary, my sister.
I arrived at her house October 4, 2010, and thank God I got to spend 3 months with her before she died. I questioned her so much about death and even told her my fears, which she already knew about. She calmed me with her words and strength. She had no fear whatever. She even apologized about asking the other sisters and family members not to tell me about her illness.
I live in Louisville, Kentucky and she was concerned that the shock of her illness would be to much for me to bare so far away and no family around to comfort me. All I could think while she was talking was, “she is concerned about everyone else yet she is the one dying.”
Anyway on January 8th around 2:45 a.m. I was asleep on the sofa in the room where Hospice had set up for Mary, my other sisters and brother where sleeping in the same room on different pieces of furniture and even the floor. We had been informed by Hospice that she wouldn’t make it another day. She had begun turning color and doing what is called the death moan. A loud high pitched moan that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Then I heard her call my name, real soft. I opened my eyes and realized it was quiet, her moaning had stopped. Then I heard her call my name again, I could see her face clearly by the light of the street light shinning through the window. I got up and walked slowly to her bed and she reached out and took my hand and began to thank me for coming to be with her. The strange thing was as I was staring right at her mouth, I never once saw her lips move. Yet I could clearly hear her every word, with my heart.
I slowly sat down in the chair beside her bed, and holding her hand I cried softly. As Mary finished talking she told me to write it all down, she said “you know how you always write poems, well put it in pretty words for me. Then she started moaning loudly again as if I were no longer there.
I went back to the sofa and silently cried myself to sleep.
That next day there was a different look about her, she no longer recognized anyone, and even her moaning was different.
Then around 1:54 in the afternoon Mary died while holding my hand.
I was sad to lose the sister that loved me above all others, the one that raised me along with her own children yet treated me no different. But there was no fear of death whatsoever.
After her body was removed my sister that I stayed with on the weekend and I returned to her house and around the same time, 2:45 a.m. I felt someone gently shaking me awake. Then I heard Mary’s voice say “Reks write it all down.”
I got up got pen and paper and begun to do as I was told even without fear. In the form of a poem: I call “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”. Mary’s Whisper”
Early in the morning,
Mary whispered, “Reks come here.”
I have something to tell you,
But my words won’t be very clear.
I got up from the sofa,
And stood beside her bed.
I listened to every word,
That Mary’s heart whisper said.
She whispered real soft words,
Using just her heart.
She said,”this has come the time,
The day that I depart.”
I thank you baby for coming,
It wouldn’t have been the same.
Living so far away,
You wouldn’t have heard me whisper your name.
I sat down and held her hand,
I was afraid to just let go.
I didn’t want to tell her,
That her words had hurt me so.
I went throughout the morning,
Wondering when would be the time,
With Mary’s heart whispered words,
Weighing heavy on my mind.
I walked around and socialized,
Comforted family and friend.
Then I went back to Mary’s bed,
And felt that hurt again.
I thought of all the stages of death,
I’d read about in that book.
And realized her eyes,
Had taken that permanent look.
It was then I finally excepted,
My sisters going to die.
I rubbed her arm,held her hand,
And softly began to cry.
As Mary’s breathing shallower,
I saw her take her last breath.
Her heart whispered to me even then,
Not thinking of herself.
Cry baby sister, get it all out,
Your pain will ease some tomorrow.
Remember the words my heart whispered to you,
Because “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow.”
After I finished writing sitting there at the kitchen table at my sisters house, I felt at peace. I lay my head down on the table and slept, no more tears.
Then I felt someone gently shaking me, I slowly awoke and my sister that I was staying with was standing there with my poem book in her hand and crying. She said she say the whole thing from when I walked over to Mary’s bed and even when Mary reached up and took my hand. She said she felt that it was an out of body spiritual experience so she kept quiet.
So the FLIP FLOP in my life is no more fear of death. Only a peaceful elation that there is a joy in another side of life.
Thank you, Creativeliving 1 Single Mother